After varsities in Maharashtra promote law aspirants without exams, student outfit seeks clarity from BCI over validity of certificatesUpdated: Oct 24, 2020, 00:32 IST
A Maharashtra-based student activist group has approached the Bar Council of India (BCI) to seek clarity if promoting law students – except those in their final or sixth semester – to the next grade without asking them to take the exams will be considered valid. The move follows a circular from BCI in June stating that second and fourth semester students pursuing the three-year LLB course should be promoted based on a physical examination conducted within a month of the colleges reopening. However, all Maharashtra state universities have already promoted all the students – except those studying in their final year – based on their previous semester performance.
“A circular by BCI released in May and an eventual press release about the same had clear directions that examinations of all students, except final-year students, should be conducted within one month of reopening of colleges,” stated a letter addressed to BCI by the Students Law Council.
It further mentions that despite such clear directions, universities across Maharashtra decided to declare results of second and fourth semester students without conducting physical exams.
“Universities have marked students based on their performance in previous semesters and promoted all,” the letter further stated.
With the increasing Covid-19 cases in the state and the lockdown in place, university exams had to be postponed. While the government of Maharashtra had decided to promote all students based on their previous performance, a Supreme Court order in September ordered all higher education institutions to promote final-year students of professional as well as non-professional courses only on the basis of an examination.
The state government then decided to promote all students (except final-year undergraduate and postgraduate students) of non-professional courses on the basis of their performance in previous semesters. It also clarified that in matter of professional courses the decision will be left to their respective examination authorities.
In this case, BCI had clarified that all students will be promoted to the next class on the basis of a physical examination once colleges reopen.
“Our concern is whether the promotion certificates approved by the state universities will be accepted and considered valid by BCI in the future. If not, the lives and futures of several law aspirants are at stake,” said Sachin Pawar, president of Students Law Council.